Hello to the most beautiful people on the planet,
I hope your week has been great and you are enjoying the sunshine and summer. I've got some great stories to tell so let's get down to business (to defeat the huns...)
So...you know how when you get a new mission president some things might change. Well it's happening!
On Friday we went to the leadership meeting and received all new instructions.
First of all, any rule that we had before is now being thrown out and we are just using the missionary handbook. Therefore, on Saturday when we went to Cecilia and David's for a Family Home Evening and they gave us Coke, I drank it. My first one in a year. It was super good but also made me kind of sick lol. We can also drink mate cocido (mate in tea form) and listen to music (too bad my iPod is broken and the offices took our DVD/CD player). But anyway, we feel quite liberated.
The second gigantic change was with our indicators clave. You all probably don't really understand this part at all, but basically we have these goals of numbers that we have to achieve. They contribute to our percentage for the week and month and every week all of your numbers are put in a report and sent to the whole mission so everyone knows who got 100% etc. (Basically it's like putting everyone's grades on each assignment or test for everyone to see) It was a good way to motivate us to work hard but was a ton of pressure (therefore all my freaking about achieving my numbers and trying to improve etc. in the past 9 months) Well, President Robertson last week stopped sending out the numbers and on Friday he told us that we no longer have mission wide goals. We will now set our own goals and use the definitions found in Preach My Gospel. It's a little hard to explain but basically there couldn't be a bigger change for our mission.
Anyway, we are all pretty excited about the change and how we can hopefully become more effective missionaries, but it's going to be very interesting.
This past weekend has been really eye opening for me. After our meeting on Friday we began thinking about the new indicators and applying the concepts in our work. It was very interesting to note the difference in our thought processes. We began to see how much control it is going to take to find a balance with our goals and helping our investigators. While we might not have the pressure of the indicators we still need to use our personal goals to drive us to work more diligently and in a balanced way. It was much easier to be relaxed and lose that drive to work with all our efforts Saturday and Sunday without the numbers pushing us. However, we were able to use the time we had effectively. Instead of scrambling for empty numbers such as contacts without the spirit etc. we used the hours we had to contact investigators whom we haven't been able to contact in days and visit those who didn't come to church.
Although I think working in this manner will take a lot of self control and adjustment I know if we can learn to be completely motivated by our love for the Savior and our brothers and sisters we will be more effective missionaries.
As Hermana Peterson and I talked about the changes we were experiencing we realized how much more we will need to learn to recognize and act upon spiritual promptings. We began questioning if we had even been acting by the spirit. While I know we were being led by the spirit before, many times we didn't recognize it because everything was so spelled out for us. I have been studying My Purpose and How to Recognize the Spirit in Preach My Gospel to relearn some of the basics about missionary work that I may have forgotten in the past few months. It has been an interesting process in asking the Lord questions and receiving answers about what I need to change to become the missionary he wants me to be.
These past few weeks I have felt as though we are spinning our wheels, finding and teaching, but not finding those prepared to keep their commitments and eventually be baptized. I hope and pray that I have learned some of what the Lord wanted through my study and will be more humble and receptive to His spirit this week to find those who are prepared for August.
A few happy moments from the week...
Hermana Peterson asked Cecilia what David does for work. Cecilia explained that he does facturas. (Factura has two meanings, 1.a delicious pastry doughnut type thing, 2. a bill). Hermana Peterson immediately thought of the first definition (obviously) and asked why he is at a computer all night to make facturas. We had a good laugh and Cecilia explained that he does the billing stuff on the computer for the meat company he works for and it really doesn't have anything to do with pastries. Then...we went to their house for a FHE on Saturday and David pulled out a big package of facturas (the doughnut kind) to give Hermana Peterson from "his work". It was hilarious and so cute.
Speaking of the FHE, it was wonderful! It was their first one and Cecilia, David and Jazmin where there as well as Alejandra and Soledad (David's mom and sister) and two of his nieces. They made pizza (with lettuce, which is actually pretty good) and watched Finding Faith in Christ while we ate. They then brought out a board game they had purchased (basically Monopoly Argentine version) to play. It was soo great.
We usually feel really sick going back home from the meetings in Ramos but this time we didn't and we think it is because we drank water and ate barbecued beef sandwiches, carrots, an apple, chips and snicker doodles (it may not sound like it but WAY healthier!) We LOVED it and totally didn't feel sick on the way back.
Cecilia went with us to teach a few lessons and she is AMAZING! She was so excited to go and shared her testimony so perfectly. I think she's going to be great to take with us when we have lessons with a member.
On Wednesday night in our English class with David, Cecilia, Romina and Rodrigo and Hermana Alldredge everyone was trying to help me roll my r's because I still can't do it. Well, on Thursday we were contacting some people in David's apartment complex after talking with him and Cecilia and he came up the stairs after a few minutes and gave me a piece of paper and left. When we finished talking to this woman I opened it up and it was full of tongue twisters that he had printed out to help me learn lol. I'm still super frustrated but maybe by December I'll learn haha.
I realized in these past few weeks that I am so incredibly happy. Although we still have bad days here and there I LOVE the mission. I LOVE Bragado. I LOVE my companion and I'm just so incredibly happy. I hope you can taste a little slice of my happiness from my letters and transfer it to your lives. Have a wonderful week!
Sincerely your favorite gringa, Hermana Millet